South Sudan: A Tumultuous Mixture of Raw Human Hatreds (part 5)

By Wani Tombe Lako

June 24, 2013 (SSNA) — The SPLM/A leaders came to town in 2005, with bad political faith. Based on their conducts and political, as well as socio-cultural attitudes, I can adduce evidence which indicate that, if not all, the majority of SPLM/A operatives and members; came to town saturated, with dangerous political culture of differentiation; as opposed to that of integration of South Sudanese. The political dice, for comprehensive instabilities of South Sudan, were cast; immediately, after the assassination, murder, or death of the late Dr Garang.

All political and other processes, for the re-formation of the government of South Sudan (GoSS) in 2005, after the untimely demise of the late Garang, were ubiquitously characterised by fratricidal bloody feuds. These feuds were between the late Dr Garang supporters, or the Orphans, and Lt. Gen. Kiir loyalists. The operationalisation of these feuds, heralded in, destructive policies and politics of hate and revenge, during the era of internal self-determination (2005-2011); or the interim period as per the CPA.

These feuds were partly played out in the form of armed conflicts in South Sudan, between various groups and the SPLM/A. The SPLM/A only know the language of the AK47, and it could not, and shall not be able to devise peaceful political modalities, for the resolution of all entrenched disputes between known tribes in South Sudan. The era of internal self-determination 2005-2011 witnessed the perfection of tribal warfare in South Sudan. The SPLM/A made is worse by forceful and selective disarmament of some tribes in South Sudan, while at the same time, allowing other tribes to carry fire arms; under the pretext of protecting their livestock.

The SPLM/A were, and are still, using policies and politics of hate and revenge, in the selective disarmament of tribes in South Sudan. For example, those other tribes, allowed, to carry their fire arms, by the SPLM/A, were, and are not, the only people, and tribes, in South Sudan, who are in need of fire arms, to protect their livestock and assets. If that was, and it still is, the logic, for allowing other South Sudanese, to carry fire arms, in South Sudan, then, there is no logical and legal reason, to disarm others.

Those unfortunate tribes, who are maliciously disarmed by the SPLM/A, are rendered vulnerable to armed attacks, by other South Sudanese, using fire arms, provided to them, by the SPLM/A. I am not by all means, encouraging uncontrolled possession of fire arms in South Sudan. What I am saying is that, the SPLM/A lead government in the RoSS, must come to its senses that, it cannot tailor make laws, for specific groups and tribes in South Sudan. All South Sudanese ought to have the same rights, duties, obligations and privileges. All South Sudanese   must suffer same legal sanctions, for breach of legal rules.

I strongly support all genuine governmental efforts to establish the rule of law in sovereign South Sudan. However, the current SPLM/A lead government in Juba, does not seem to appreciate the logic of peace among South Sudanese. The government in Juba is acting as if, this wished for tranquility among the peoples of South Sudan, ought to come raining down like Manna from Heaven, on us.  The RoSS is the direct outcome of peaceful negotiation. Why should not the SPLM/A use the letter and the spirit of the CPA as the guiding star in their journey of leadership in South Sudan?

I sincerely do not understand as to why, the majority of SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, allow themselves, to be controlled by individual and group hatreds and revenge, against other South Sudanese? Not only this, but, these hateful and vengeful SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, do unfortunately, translate their personal hate and revenge, into national policies and politics. With this kind of political culture in place, in South Sudan, I cannot see any semblance of positive human futures, for the peoples of South Sudan, in a sovereign South Sudan, under the leadership of the SPLM/A, liberation history notwithstanding.

With the perfection of these hateful and vengeful policies and politics in South Sudan, it is just a wishful thinking for us, to sit here in South Sudan, and miraculously expect the emergence of a conflict free South Sudan, in both relative and absolute terms. It is just illogical, for us in South Sudan, under the leadership of the SPLM/A, to become engrossed in tribal politics, saturated in fratricidal hate, and revenge, and then, blame regional and international legal and human persons for such human carnage.

Why do we become so morally, religiously, socially, and culturally so feeble, to the extent that, we become political pawns, in other people’s hands, for self-destruction? I am profoundly concern that, should this degree of internal violent conflict persist in South Sudan, we shall not be able to refute or rebut accusations, by others, that, we are not fit to rule ourselves by ourselves.

Specialised UN Agencies are already taking note, and becoming interested in the gross violations of human rights in South Sudan. The SPLM/A can easily attract the attention of the UN Security Council, to the extent that, South Sudan can easily become a subject of Chapter VII of the UN Charter 1945. If it happened to other nations, it can also happen to us. This is a fact, and the SPLM/A leadership in Juba must take note of this.

I am writing as a hurting South Sudanese, who wants to be lead by honest and sincere leaders in South Sudan. I detest, to be lead, by some collection of individuals, who aggregately, posses the herd mentality of paramount tribal African chiefs. Due to this said mentality, the SPLM/A in Juba, treat the Public Central Bank of South Sudan, and other associated public financial and economic institutions, therein, like village tribal granaries; under their sole and absolute primordial and parochial control.

In fact, logical and objective analyses of SPLM/A leadership conducts in Juba, invoke in me, the feelings that, we South Sudanese, are, under the leadership of some tribal hunters, gatherers, fishermen, herdsmen, warriors, medicine men, and the lot, entrusted with the fiduciary duties of running a modern government in the 21st Century. For example, the current debacle in Juba around Deng Alor and Kosti Manibe. Where on earth do presidents approve the procurement of public assets? That ought to be the duties of senior civil servants, as run-of-the-mill government procurement processes subject to procurement laws.

I have run the General Directorate for Procurement, in the Federal Ministry of Finance and National Economy in Khartoum, in the then united Sudan, and I have supervised over the disbursement of hundreds of millions of dollars, earmarked for government procurements. I did all this without even referring to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval. Not only that, Federal Ministers do not even come in for such procurement processes. In fact, I have even rejected the procurement of the Republican Palace’s telephony project because; it did not follow the right procurement procedures. The Palace had to resubmit their documents to my office. That is what we call government procumbent process.

Anyway, what has the SPLM/A done in South Sudan, during the internal self-determination era 2005-2011, and what are they doing now, during this era of external self-determination, in order to stifle internal conflict in South Sudan, which has been under their absolute control since 2005? For example, can we consider the institutionalisation of tribalism in South Sudan as semblance of a process, for stifling conflict in South Sudan?

Can we consider the grazing of livestock on other peoples’ agricultural food crops as the stifling of conflict in South Sudan? Can we treat random raping of women by SPLA soldiers in Munuki residential area in Juba and elsewhere, as the stifling of conflict? Is the imposition of inexperienced, badly educated, and arrogant civil servants on other experienced, properly educated and highly qualified South Sudanese, the stifling of conflict in South Sudan?

Is the fencing off of other people’s private lands, as well as tribal lands, to be distributed to SPLM/A operatives and others, the stifling of conflict in South Sudan? Is general political and military arrogance by SPLM/A operatives the stifling of conflict in South Sudan? I can go on forever, in terms of acts and omissions, that are attributable to the SPLM/A, that cannot be considered as instances, or, processes of stifling conflict in South Sudan. Critical thinking, in terms of comprehensive conflicts in South Sudan, appears to indicate that, the SPLM/A is to blame.

I always, and shall continue to objectively argue that, SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, are submerged in negative political self adulation, to the extent that, they think of themselves as political deities, and deities that are morally upright. No. SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members; are humans like all of us. They must work harder; towards, disabusing themselves, of all acts and omissions, that are not consistent with the stifling conflict in South Sudan.

I can strongly argue that, SPLM/A’s, irresponsible leadership, is one sure way of stirring and sustaining conflict in South Sudan. There are strong reasons to worry that, SPLM/A style of leadership verges on the dysfunctional. Responsible leaders do not run their countries on the basis of herd tribal mentality. Tribalism is an irrational tool for the comprehensive management of human and other resources.

Tribalism is akin to a body of violent flood waters, which are difficult to channel into a reasonable and safe course. Tribalism is a dangerous weapon that can cut for oneself and against oneself. SPLM/A leader, operatives, and members should know this. If they did not know it, they ought to know it now. National politics are issues of utmost delicacy that need to be handled with utmost political care. National politics are not akin to working up a tribal mob of volunteers in preparation for an armed attacked against a universal tribal enemy.

Critical and logical analyses of the comprehensive emotions of South Sudanese indicate that, for perfectly logical reasons, these emotions are raw, due to decades of politics of hate, hurt, deprivation, marginalisation, and isolation. This being the case, prudent leaders cannot expect to mobilise such raw emotions, into positive inputs, for constructing national development, through politics, akin to students’ politics. Such raw political emotions ought to be handled with utmost political objectivity.

Such raw political emotions need not to be exploited for tribal and party political ends, and at the same time, the exploiter expects to harvest a tranquil political environment. That is impossible. What does one expect after distorting political facts in order to win the sympathy of traumatised peoples like the South Sudanese? The most logical answer is that, there shall be a general unreasonable discontent for unfounded political and security reasons, manufactured for personal, tribal and partisan interests and not for the interests of the downtrodden peoples of South Sudan.

It can be strongly argued that, the myriad of unconventional and unconstitutional methodologies, used by the SPLM/A, since 2005 to date, for resolving constitutional misunderstandings are real sources of conflict in South Sudan. I must reiterate here that, SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, cannot just indulge in unconventional and unconstitutional methods, of running South Sudan, as if they were still in the bushes of South Sudan. These politically uncouth and culpable  conducts, by the SPLM/A, are comprehensively damaging the regional and international political and intellectual profile of South Sudanese.

At times, I develop this feeling that, the SPLM/A’s, conduct of national politics, is tactically and strategically, to impress and win the support of international sponsors. This  is a dangerous game that national leaders like the leaders of the SPLM/A ought not to be engaged in. While recognising the importance of international governments as species and actors of international law; I strongly believe that, rulers who run their countries, to please other foreign heads of states are not good leaders.

If leaders in South Sudan, including the SPLM/A leaders, want to run South Sudan, in order to gain respect internationally, at the expense of real national issues, then, it is sorry to say that, these are not the kind of leaders we really need in South Sudan. To rule South Sudan, in accordance with some foreign agenda is a permanent source for conflict. I cardinally believe that, our leaders must always put our interests in South Sudan first.  

For example, in 2007, in Juba, commenting about the CPA, the then President of the GoSS, and the current President of the RoSS, Lt. Gen. Mayardit said, “…it was designed to ensure an equitable and transparent distribution of wealth and resources. It was intended to create a level of ground for all Sudanese political forces so that they compete freely, in their multiple diversities, and so that the Sudanese people themselves democratically choose their leaders in free and fair elections. Above all, it has ensured for you the people of southern Sudan, the right to self-determination while urging us to create an environment for making unity of our country an attractive opinion…”

The above quote contains important issues to us South Sudan, in 2007, as well as now, in 2013, in an independent and sovereign South Sudan. On the issue of equitable and transparent distribution of wealth and resources, then, in 2007, and now in 2013, I am sorry to say that, the SPLM/A has abysmally failed the downtrodden peoples of South Sudan. Do the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members; know the state and degree of relative and absolute inequality in South Sudan within the framework of all wealth and resources distribution?

I am going to pretend that, SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members knew then, and know now, the state and degree of inequality in South Sudan, in terms of power and wealth distribution respectively. So then, What steps were taken then, and are being taken right now, by SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, via the GoSS then, and the RoSS now, to realise equality, equity and transparency of distribution of the said wealth and resources? Do you, the heterogeneous peoples of South Sudan, recognise any semblance of equality, equity and transparency of distribution of the said wealth and resources?

In my case, I honestly and humbly believe that, there were no semblances of equality, equity and transparency of distribution of wealth and resources in South Sudan, in 2007, and I cannot see the same now in 2013, in South Sudan, under the military, political and administrative control of the SPLM/A. Way back in 2007, it was extremely painful to see our peoples suffering for want of beneficial goods and services. Some of us knew what was happening, but, SPLM/A iron grip of South Sudan could not allow the peoples of South Sudan to know the truth.

I mentioned somewhere that, the amounts of monies that were poured into South Sudan during the era of internal self-determination, 2005-2011, was more than the budgets of Uganda and Kenya combined during the same period. However, the politics of hate and revenge saw to it that, while the majority of States in South Sudan were groaning under the unrelenting poverty, other lucky and favoured States like Aweil, were lavishly supplied with all goods and services, over and above those supplied to the other parts of South Sudan? I would love to be educated about the logic of this wanton discrimination in wealth and resources distribution.

It is logical and reasonable to argue that, equality, equity and transparency of wealth and resources distribution is also applicable to all governmental institutions, as well as economic sectors in South Sudan. I have commented loudly since 2005, about the allocation of wealth and resources, to various institutions such as the army in South Sudan. Then, I asked the then GoSS, to make prudent decisions, not influenced by personal and group tribal and partisan interests. I argued then that, I did not understand why, the SPLA got 40% of total budget of South Sudan? Others claimed that, it was important to build a powerful army.

I argued then, and I continue to argue now that, how could you build a powerful army at the expense of the livelihood of the downtrodden peoples of South Sudan? Is the modernisation of the SPLA the top development priority of the GoSS then, and the RoSS now? How could this be, when millions of South Sudanese were, and are, dying from hunger and diseases? In fact, the majorities of our peoples are dying now, and died then, not from enemy bullets, but, from bullets of tribal hate and revenge. Our people died, and continue to die due to tribally motivated gross negligence, fueled by hate and revenge.

I argued then, and I argue now that, what are the guarantees that, these huge sums of monies, purportedly allocated for the SPLA, were, and are being managed, in the best interests of South Sudanese? If these monies were, and are being managed properly, why was, and why is, the SPLA, in such a ragtag condition? Where did, and where do these monies go? Why were there recurrent riots among the SPLA ranks and file, for want of salaries?

Why were some SPLA soldiers selling the chairs at the late Dr Garang mausoleum in Juba, to make ends meet? Who were, and who are benefiting from this unequal distribution of our wealth, and resources, in the name of the SPLA? If nobody can answer all these questions, we do want lectures from the SPLM/A.

The SPLM/A cannot lecture us on the importance of equality, equity and transparency of distribution of societal wealth and resources. They lack these moralities. How can they give us what they do not have? See you in (part 6).

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He be reached at [email protected]

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